Archives On The Air 110: Training Seeing Eye Dogs—Lambert Kreimer Papers

Feb 8, 2019

Lambert Kreimer was a German Captain in World War I. He trained Red Cross and messenger dogs.

In 1916 Kreimer had the idea to train dogs to lead the blind. He had met Willie Reinstein. Willie was a young German soldier who had been blinded by a bullet. Kreimer proposed training a stray dog to lead him.

Reinstein resisted the idea. He thought he would look helpless being led by a dog. But then he fell down the hospital steps and gave in. Kreimer trained the dog to lead Reinstein in one month. They named him Rolf.

In 1929, Kreimer came to the US and trained dogs for the military. He trained over 3,000 service, police, and military dogs during his career.

The Lambert Kreimer papers at UW's American Heritage Center contain scrapbooks of the dogs he trained and the people they guided.